Overdose deaths rise as fentanyl floods Colorado


Golden, Colorado — There is little time to lose if someone overdoses on fentanyl.

In Arapahoe County, Colorado, officers last December used Narcan to seemingly revive a woman after she ingested an illegal drug containing fentanyl.

“It killed me,” the woman, who asked not to use her name, told CBS News. “I was dead. They said if they didn’t get my heart back, I would have been dead or had permanent brain damage.”

The main cause of overdoses is fentanyl, the synthetic opioid that is 50 times more potent than heroin. Overdose deaths surpassed 100,000 for the first time ever in 2021according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, with nearly 70% of them related to fentanyl.

Colorado saw a nearly 70% increase in fatal fentanyl overdoses from 2020 to 2021, with more than 900 deaths total last year, according to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.

Fentanyl is flooding the state and entering through the highways and highways as the cartels realize they can reach large parts of the US through Colorado

“You have the I-25 corridor that runs north-south from Mexico. You have the I-70 corridor that runs across the country to the east,” said Cole Finegan, the U.S. Attorney for the District of Colorado. “So there are a lot of different ways when something enters Colorado where it can move.”

Daily police checks across Colorado find fentanyl hidden in vehicles as the evidence base grows.

“Fentanyl keeps coming,” said Colonel Matthew Packard, chief of the Colorado State Patrol. “It’s a poison that constantly infects, not just Colorado, but every community in this country.”

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Packard said those who sell fentanyl are driven by profit and “it doesn’t matter how many body bags are the result.”

To add to the urgency, police say the cartels are using fentanyl. to make look like candymaking it more attractive to young people.

Kim Osterman’s 18-year-old son, Max, died of fentanyl poisoning last year.

“They’re doing this intentionally to kill the children,” she said. “They sell it to the kids.”

It’s a supply chain that the police are trying to stop, but shows little sign of closing.